Art Journaling Psalm 19:1 – The Solar Eclipse
After viewing the total solar eclipse Monday I knew I would have to do an art journal entry for it. Picking a verse was the second hardest part of the entire process not because I couldn’t find one but because I’m indecisive and there were lots to choose from. My first thought was a verse about light and dark. I seriously considered “my God will enlighten my darkness”, (Psalm 18:28), “I form the light and create darkness” (Isaiah 45:7), and “a light that shines in a dark place”(2 Peter 1:19). While all of these are great verses (that I might journal in the future) I chose Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare” because the wonder of God’s creation was the main thing on my mind during the eclipse.
My family and I were fortunate enough to live where the solar eclipse would be fully visible in our backyard. No vacation days or long car drives necessary. We made sure to have our eclipse glasses and solar filter for our camera ordered in time and then stocked up on household items to avoid the crowds in the nearby town on the 21st.
One thing I noticed early on was that you wouldn’t even know an eclipse was happening if you hadn’t been told for most of the time leading up to totality. We watched (through our glasses) the moon slowly cover more and more of the sun but there was no visible diminishment of light until it was about 75% covered. Then the light level started to drop to dusk like levels and the crickets started to sing.
I can not adequately describe the sense of wonder I felt as totality started and we could hear a cheer go up from a large eclipse viewing area set up a few miles from our house. The moon framed by the sun’s corona and the just after sunset appearance to the horizon in every direction was beautiful. The idea that God keeps everything working so perfectly together, and that He designed it so perfectly to give us such a wonderful event is awe inspiring. After nearly 3 minutes of near darkness the sun became visible in a (potentially) blinding flash of light and everything slowly returned to normal.
My cell phone was unable to capture totality correctly but Randy and my daughter took over 600 pictures of the various phases of the eclipse with our camera. My reference photo (shown above) was taken by my daughter during the last seconds of totality. (you can see the hi-res version or even order a print here)
Journaling the Solar Eclipse – Step by Step
I’m using my NKJV Brown/Cream Journal the Word Bible for this project.
I wanted to make a solid background that was really dark but lighter at the bottom (like what I remembered from the eclipse) so I used my acrylic paints starting with almost pure Lamp Black at the top and blending in more and more Cobalt Blue at the bottom. I didn’t get quite enough blue mixed in so I ended up adding a light wash of watered down blue at the bottom after it dried (I used my heat gun to speed up drying time).
I wanted a perfect circle so I found a stamp with a base about the size I wanted. I traced around it using my Uni-ball white gel pen. (off topic – isn’t this ladybug stamp adorable? I bought this and 15 more various animal and bug stamps as a set at my local thrift store to add to my journaling stash)
The Moon was darker then the surrounding sky so I went over it with pure black paint. I noticed I had bobbled a little with the gel pen but was fairly sure it would be easy to make a part of the corona so I didn’t worry about it.
After the black was finally dry (waiting for the paint to dry was the hardest part) I started painting in the corona using white acrylic paint. I made sure to do a thick layer of paint where I wanted the large glint of light to be centered.
I had to keep waiting for the white to dry and putting on another thin layer to keep the areas I wanted pure white from getting gloppy. I used a small short round brush for most of the white. I switched to a longer thin round brush that would spread a bit while doing some of the light rays. I kept a couple scraps of paper towel handy and any place the white seemed too thick I carefully blotted a bit away to thin it down. It took a bit of trial and error but I finally got it to a point I was pleased with. (my skill and space didn’t allow for a perfect representation of the original)
I hand lettered the first part of the verse using my white gel pen.
Then carefully placed silver alphabet stickers to finish the verse. Working with tiny stickers (especially the fancy g for “glory”) is one thing I’m not very good at yet.
I used the gel pen to write the reference and then date stamped it in navy. I’ve just recently started dating my work and normally would do the date I finished a project. In this case however it seemed more appropriate to do the day I started which was the actual day of the eclipse. Also I couldn’t resist adding the “wow God” along with it. I might end up going back in and drawing a blue or black box around the verse in the text so it’s easier to spot.
Final thoughts on Psalm 19:1
The eclipse was a wonderful event that points to the power, careful design, and creativity of our God. The awe a solar eclipse creates can make people start to think about the creation of the universe. And scientific discoveries have been made during solar eclipses that point to intelligent design.
Psalm 19:1 (and all of Psalm 19) was a great passage to link to the event in my memory. Like the Psalm the eclipse declares God’s glory and shows his handiwork. I’m glad I took the time to art journal about it so that every time I see that passage I’ll be reminded of the wonder I felt.
Did any of you get to see the eclipse? What verse do you think best fits it? Did you journal about it? What other special events have you journaled? Do you know what company made that ladybug stamp? or where I get more of the set? Let me know in the comments.
Where possible I’ve linked to the exact product I used though most similar products should produce similar results.
Most of these links are for Amazon but much of this would be available at crafting websites or your local craft store. At least some of it should be available at Dayspring, big box stores (like Walmart), and many local Bible bookstores
Products used for this Art Journaling project are: (links are affiliate links)
NKJV Journal the Word Bible Brown/Cream
Ranger 15x18 Craft Sheet (cut in half and used as page protector)
Plaid Paint Brush Set
Memory 24 Color Acrylic Paint Set
Plastic Paint Palette
Darice Embossing Multi-Purpose Heat Tool
Uni-Ball White Signa Broad Point Gel Pen
Ladybug ink stamp figurine
Stickabilities 7/16″ Hand Drawn Silver Alphabet Stickers
Illustrated Faith Date-it Stamp
Ranger Cobalt Archival Ink Pad